For the past 2 years St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare has been busy with COVID-19 patients. This week according to CentraCare spokesman, Dr. George Morris, St. Cloud Hospital has just 10 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and just 1 person in the ICU/Critical Care unit.

Morris says this doesn't mean COVID has completely gone away but we may be in endemic times.  He says COVID should still be considered a serious illness with people still dying of this virus including a person locally last week at St. Cloud Hospital.

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Dr. Morris says without the amount of COVID-19 patients at St. Cloud Hospital they can return to normal care which includes elective surgeries and the handling of critical care needs in their ICU/critical care unit.

Dr. Morris addressed their current staffing saying they are "a little low" but have added some staff members.  He says some positions at CentraCare have become remote jobs as they've learned to do many of these responsibilities remotely during the pandemic.

Dr. Morris says tele health visits for patients can be an efficient and effective option.  He says some care doesn't require in-person visits with care providers.  Morris says tele health can reduce wait times and travel for patients.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are still available for those interested.  Dr. Morris says the best way to secure these now is from your primary care physician.  He says for those still concerned or medically vulnerable precautions can be taken by wearing masks in public places that social distancing cannot happen.

If you'd like to listen to my 2-part conversation with Dr. Morris it is available below.

 

 

 

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